The National Football League and its players don’t see eye to eye on a lot of matters these days, but the league’s draconian stance on medical marijuana is wildy out of step with its athletes.
More than 60 percent of players surveyed by ESPN believe the use of pharmaceutical opioids would be reduced if the NFL OK’d marijuana for pain.
Medical marijuana is legal in 25 states and Washington, D.C., and yet the NFL still has it listed as one of eight drugs banned. A failed test leads punishment, including fines and suspensions.
The sports network also published a story on Wednesday detailing on former linebacker Eugene Monroe’s crusade to convince the NFL to change its drug policies.
— ESPN (@espn) November 2, 2016
According to the survey, more than 70 percent of the players believe marijuana should be legal. The league has two teams in legal states (the Denver Broncos in Colorado and the Seattle Seahawks inWashington). Alaska and Oregon also have legalized the herb. Five others states will vote on full legalization next Tuesday. Four other states have medicinal marijuana on the ballot.
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ESPN surveyed 226 players on issues surrounding pain treatment. The league has 1,696 players on active rosters and another 256 on practice squads.
According to the survey:
Should medical marijuana be legal in all states?
- Yes 71 percent
- No 29 percent
Have you ever known a teammate to use marijuana before a game?
- Yes 22 percent
- No 78 percent
Is it hard to beat the NFL’s testing system for recreational drugs?
- Yes 33 percent
- No 67 percent
Do you worry about the long-term effects of painkillers?
- Yes 59 percent
- No 41 percent
If marijuana were an allowed substance, would fewer players take painkillers?
- Yes 61 percent
- No 39 percent
Which is better for recovery and pain control: marijuana or painkillers?
- Marijuana 41 percent
- Painkillers 32 percent
- Neither 27 percent
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